As Recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra
Arranged by A.K. Salim, Prepared for Publication by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
star star star star star Be the first to write a review!

Cat #: JLP-5165DL


This product is available for immediate download after purchase.



Please call +1-518-587-1102 or email us.

Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement

Description: Swing - Advanced

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

This A.K. Salim arrangement for the Count Basie Orchestra is best known under the title Blee Blop Blues, but was originally recorded and released under the title Normania in 1949. It would become a staple entry in the Basie band's live performance catalog in the 1950s, where its bebop-influenced melody and harmonies would serve as a uniquely modernized show-stopper.

Beginning with a typical Basie piano intro (transcribed in full), the knotty melody is handled in unison by the trumpets while the saxes and trombones play backup. Each of the choruses of tenor sax solo that follow are introduced by a challenging trumpet section break that only serve to ramp up the performance's intensity. Following the tenor sax is a trumpet solo with some hard-riffing sax backgrounds that manage to simultaneously lower the heat a little bit while not losing any momentum.

Once the soloists have said their piece, the 12-bar blues form is abandoned for a bit as the trumpets and trombones exchange volleys while being egged on by the saxes and rhythm section. Some harsh dissonances set up a swiftly-paced sax soli at measure 74, with the rest of the horns returning for the final shout chorus at measure 86. The intensity level continues to increase all the way to the grand finale, with the final ensemble blast set up nicely by a short drum fill and ascending line in the trombones.

Two notes on this publication:

- The initial tempo mark is based off of the 1949 and 1952 studio recordings. In live settings, the Basie band would typically perform this arrangement substantially faster. We encourage you and your ensemble to experiment with multiple different tempos in order to figure out where you feel the arrangement works best.

- The set of parts this publication was based on was missing the 4th trumpet, 3rd trombone, and rhythm section parts. We have assembled these parts by referencing and transcribing multiple different studio and live recordings.


This publication was prepared using the original set of parts used by the Count Basie Orchestra in 1952 (with the exception of the 4th trumpet, 3rd trombone, and rhythm section parts).

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
3 Trombones
Drum Set
Trumpet 1: D6
Trumpet 2: F6
Trombone 1: Db5